Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Reindeer Tries To Escape!
Acutally I think our little Reindeer is having a wonderful Christmas already, and it's only the 23rd! We've enjoyed time with Grandma & Grandpa while on their way out of the Country, Mya got a beautiful new quilt made by her Grandmas and enjoyed time giggling and playing with wrapping paper from her gift. She's really looking forward to the two other family celebrations we're going to have!
We've been dumped on fom a Seattle perspective with snow! In the 8 years I've lived on this side of the state, we've never had this much snow for such a long period of time. The good news is that I am able to work from home so I don't have to do my 38 mile commute in the sloppy weather. Rob has a short commute, but is also able to work from home if it gets too nasty. We're headed over the pass tonight to beat a winter storm, pray for safe travels for us!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Our Christmas Letter

Two thousand eight has been an incredible year for us. We've enjoyed visits from friends and family, done a little bit of traveling, and have been amazed at the birth and growing up time of our sweet little Mya. To remember what we've done, I decided to scroll through my pictures to kick-start my memory of our year's adventures. You can (or have) actually read through most of them on this blog, but I'll give you an abridged version this posting.

Rob started the year off running the "Resolution Run" with a couple of friends- the crazy part was jumping into Lake Washington to cross the finish line on January 1st. Luckily I had the excuse of being pregnant to ward off the criticism of not participating! In March we travelled to Arizona with my parents to see the Mariners in Spring Training. We had a great time together and enjoyed the Arizona sunshine.

Family visits were throughout the year, one included a few Mariner games and a trip to the Zoo with our nieces and nephew. We had a great time watching them in excitement over all of the animals. April brought our last SNOW for the season, we got about 6" which was probably the most that fell at one time for us.

We were incredibly blessed by our family and friends in many baby showers and gifts throughout the spring. It was overwhelming how many gifts were given to us, from clothes to gear to keepsakes- our baby room was well stocked and ready for it's delivery! Between showers, we had home projects to complete, prior to baby's arrival. We painted several rooms, completed the nursery and installed our patio and fence in our back yard.

July 23rd rolled around and Baby decided not to arrive on her scheduled date. My brother, Mark, and his wife came to visit us on their way out of the country for the next 10 months. Unfortunately Mya decided to wait to join us, and they missed meeting her. Luckily we've been able to skype them, where they've been able to watch Mya and see how much she's grown! She arrived on August 2nd, and since then we've totally enjoyed our new family addition. I was lucky to have 10 weeks off of work, and loved the time of getting to know miss Mya. We had lots of visitors- many bringing us food and gifts, it was amazing. When Mya was 3 weeks old, Rob traveled to New Orleans for a business trip. He had a great time (when he wasn't working) walking around the city and taking in some of the local cuisine. Mya and I took a road trip to Idaho, we didn't want to stay home alone! It was during harvest, but this year she was just too little to play in the wheat. Next year for sure!

In September Rob was promoted to managing a single travel office, in Mill Creek, a challenge he's really enjoying. His new office location didn't change his commute too much, it's still only about 10 minutes from home. The majority of their business is managing corporate travel. If your company needs someone to manage travel needs, give him a call!

My last week of leave, we took a family vacation to Chelan. It was a really relaxing week, just hanging out together, taking walks and going swimming with Mya. I returned to work in mid October. At that time, I changed areas of responsibility from footwear to buying clothing and footwear for http://www.reioutlet.com/. It has been a great change, I'm really enjoying my job, which made it easier to go back! I'm temporarily in the position (through May), as I'm covering another coworker on her maternity leave. We'll see where the future leads for my job responsibilities, but for now I'm pretty happy with where I'm at.

Our biggest accomplishment this year has been dumping about $22,000 in debt (since January). This is something we've been really working hard to do for the past couple of years. It was perfect timing to get rid of it too... with this tough economy. Amazing what a little self discipline and budget planning will do. It's helped our relationship so much- we stress far less about money, now that we know where it's going. We took a class at our church, Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. I would recommend the philosophies to anyone! It helped us take control of our situation (not a great one...) and to be in charge of our money. We've only got a student loan left, and then our only debt will be our house. It is so wonderful to not have any car payments or credit card bills anymore! It's so freeing!!!

The holidays bring us a lot of new fun and adventures adding a baby to the mix. It's going to be so fun creating new memories with a little one! We spent Thanksgiving with Rob's family and Christmas will be with mine, on the other side of the state. We hope you had a wonderful year as well! We're already enjoying the Christmas season, and we hope to hear from you! Thank you for visiting our blog!

God bless!

Rob, Julie & Mya

Monday, December 01, 2008

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is playing Christmas music and decorating! I love Christmas decorations. I just get excited for the feelings that come with opening the box of ornaments & garland. Adding festive music creates a wonderful feeling of excitement and happiness. The soft glow of the white lights always add a cozy feeling to a room. Now we just need snow! We are so excited to share the same feelings and create new Christmas memories with Mya. I have only positive, fun memories of my childhood Christmases, and I hope to pass that onto her. We decorated our house over the weekend. It always kicks off the holiday season for me, and puts me in the Christmas mood. I'm not sure she had as much fun as I did, but she likes to watch me dance around to "Rockin Around the Christmas Tree." It may just be that I'm pretty freaky looking, or that the music is a timeless part of our culture that all generations enjoy. Our "finished" living room is missing one imporant decoration. Mya's stocking is cut out and sitting at the sewing machine ready for me to finish, hopefully sometime this week. We'll have to invest in a stronger hanger for hers... I'm pretty sure it'll get pretty full this year! Santa knows she's been a very good little baby. Rob has been a trooper through the whole thing, he is such a great husband to put up with my decorating desires!!!
Merry Christmas everyone!